Posted On: 05/09/2011
In this month’s Five Questions column (p. 56) Mike Ryan, the new executive chef at Lola, the swank downtown eatery and lounge, talked absinthe, corn dogs, Megadeth and crępes. Now, in the second part of the interview, Ryan reveals some of the French Creole dishes he’ll be adding to the menu, his liquor of choice and how the heck you make a lobster-tail corn dog (again, with the corn dogs).
What’s on the menu now that will make people say, “Wow!” when they taste it? I’m a big steak and frites guy, and we developed a new sauce, a French marchand du vin sauce, sort of a red wine demiglace, as the steak sauce that comes with it. It’s dynamite.
How do you make that lobster-tail corn dog? It’s one of our most popular items. It’s cooked old-fashioned style in that corn-dog batter, but it comes out more crunchy than spongy. It’s fantastic.
In an interview with Sauce at about the time you took over the kitchen at Lola, you said you’d be adding some French Creole dishes to the menu. How’s that going? We have done some. I’ve been rolling them out as specials. We’re actually going to be rolling out an updated menu soon. Look for more red beans with wild rice; and an okra pilau, which is pretty much the same thing as a pilaf, with rendered bacon fat and rice and toasted okra and crawfish and Creole seasonings.
Lola has a formidable cocktail menu – what’s your favorite? I love to taste the libations here. My favorite thing is vodka. Nothing fancy, but I do like top-shelf vodka. I’m a Chopin Vodka guy.
What TV show are you addicted to? I love Gordon Ramsay on Hell’s Kitchen. I think he’s a great chef and a great motivator.
Tell us something unexpected about you. With your first impression of me, you might not think I’m a family man. I used to party and get drunk, but 10 years ago when I had my first kid, I left that lifestyle behind – and that’s not a bad thing.
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